Did you know approximately 100,000 geothermal heat pumps are installed in the United States each year? The ever-increasing trend in geothermal installation shows homeowner interest in not only lowering monthly utility costs, but also reducing carbon footprint. Today, geothermal systems have become more affordable than ever before, but we still receive many questions from home- and business owners considering this game-changing technology. Below, we will share updates to geothermal installation in 2017, benefits and what it means for your investment.
What is geothermal?
In short, geothermal heating and cooling utilizes energy within the Earth to transfer heat to and from your home. This means, in the winter months, heat from the Earth’s crust is pumped into your home. The opposite occurs in the summer, when heat from the home is transferred to the Earth’s crust. Geothermal equipment is typically installed 20-feet below ground, where Earth maintains the same temperature year-round. The system utilizes underground pipes filled with water or antifreeze which connect to a heat pump in your home. Geothermal heat pumps are more convenient than traditional heating systems because they simply move existing heat from one location to another, rather than burning fuel to create warmth.
What’s new in 2017?
In order to reduce and offset the initial cost of purchasing and installing renewable energy sources such as geothermal heating and cooling, local tax credits, utility company rebates and interest-free loans are available for both home and business owners. In fact, the state of Iowa increased available tax credits from six to 10 percent on approved Energy Star geothermal equipment in 2017. Check with your utility company, and visit dsireusa.org for a complete list of incentives available to you today.
What are the benefits of geothermal installation?
Energy efficiency: Geothermal heating and cooling is the most energy-efficient option available – 45 percent more efficient than air-source heat pumps to be exact. This results in reduced, consistent energy costs year-round.
Payback: A geothermal system will pay for itself in anywhere from two to 10 years, depending on current utility rates, home energy usage and home efficiency factors. With system longevity – over 20 years – homeowners who plan to stay in their home for several years will earn their money back.
Lower operating costs: A geothermal heat pump can immediately save you up to 60 percent on your heating and up to 50 percent on your cooling costs over conventional heating and cooling systems. Do the math on your current utility costs, and you’ll see how geothermal can make a significant difference in your budget.
Green energy: Eliminate onsite combustion, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases along with your existing HVAC system. By transferring existing heat, your geothermal system cuts down on the burning of fuels.
Low maintenance: System lifetime longevity reaches all-time highs when compared alongside HVAC counterparts. Geothermal indoor components last approximately 25 years, while the ground loop can operate 50-plus years. With fewer moving parts and protection from outdoor elements, count on your geothermal system saving you on routine maintenance.
What’s the catch?
Intimidating up-front costs: We understand the initial cost of geothermal installation can be intimidating, ranging between $10 and $20,000. However, we can assure you, when you calculate energy savings and long-term costs of system operation and maintenance, geothermal is a more cost-effective way to go. Be sure to consider geothermal:
- If you plan to stay in your home for at least four more years, you will recoup initial costs through energy and cost savings.
- If you are building a new home, you may be able to roll upfront costs into your mortgage, creating savings from day one.
- If you live in an older home with skyrocketing energy bills, you will experience significant savings when making the transition to geothermal.
For more information on geothermal or to schedule your home estimate, contact us today.